11th Parliament of Great Britain

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11th Parliament of Great Britain
10th 12th
The Duke of Newcastle was prime minister during most of the Eleventh Parliament
Meeting place Palace of Westminster
Term 31 May 1754 (1754-05-31) – 20 March 1761 (1761-03-20)
Election 1754 general election
House of Commons
Pitt addressing the Commons in 1793
Members 558 MPs
Speaker of the House of Commons Arthur Onslow
Leader of the House of Commons
Party control Whigs
House of Lords
Plate 52 of Microcosm of London (1809)
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal Earl of Northington
Leader of the House of Lords
1st 31 May 1754 (1754-05-31) – 5 June 1754 (1754-06-05)
2nd 14 November 1754 (1754-11-14) – 25 April 1755 (1755-04-25)
3rd 13 November 1755 (1755-11-13) – 27 May 1756 (1756-05-27)
4th 2 December 1756 (1756-12-02) – 4 June 1757 (1757-06-04)
5th 1 December 1757 (1757-12-01) – 20 June 1758 (1758-06-20)
6th 23 November 1758 (1758-11-23) – 2 June 1759 (1759-06-02)
7th 13 November 1759 (1759-11-13) – 22 May 1760 (1760-05-22)
8th 18 November 1760 (1760-11-18) – 19 March 1761 (1761-03-19)

The Eleventh Parliament of Great Britain was the parliament of the Kingdom of Great Britain that sat from 31 May 1754 to 20 March 1761. It was assembled following the general elections held in April–May 1754.


As with its predecessor, the Eleventh Parliament was an overwhelmingly Whig parliament. Traditional Whig–Tory party alignments had little meaning in the course of this parliament. Instead, political competition ran primarily between different Whig factions, such as the "Old Corps", Bedfordites, and Patriots.

There were several changes of ministries in the course of the Eleventh Parliament. Newcastle's "Old Corps" Whigs assembled the first ministry, but had to accommodate the rise of the Bedfordite faction in late 1755 with several cabinet posts. Newcastle's ministry fell in late 1756, during the parliamentary recess, and the third session began with a new Bedfordite–Patriot Whig coalition in control. However, King George II could not brook them and fired them before the end of that session, placing the government in the hands of an interim caretaker ministry. More satisfactory to the king, Newcastle returned to power in coalition with William Pitt before the beginning of the fourth session in late 1757.

The Seven Years' War was fought for the duration of the Eleventh Parliament, and much of its legislation addressed the financing and conduct of the war.


Surrey MP Arthur Onslow was Speaker of the House of Commons for the three prior parliaments, and had been re-elected to serve as speaker for the entire Eleventh Parliament.

In the Cabinet, the Secretary of the South served as the Leader of the House of Commons. The "Old Corps" Whig Thomas Robinson held that office until late 1755, when the Bedfordite Henry Fox replaced him. In 1756, William Pitt took and held that position until the end of the parliament.

The Prime Minister of Great Britain was Leader of the House of Lords during this parliament, namely Newcastle from 1756 to 1757, Devonshire briefly from 1756 to 1757, and Newcastle again from 1756 to 1761.


The Eleventh Parliament went through eight sessions. Its first session opened on 31 May 1754 for only a few days for formalities, and passed no public act. Thereafter, parliamentary sessions usually opened in November and ran for around six months. They were in recess for the subsequent half of the year. Parliament was not immediately dissolved with the death of King George II (25 October 1760) but rather met for an additional eighth and final session that November, opened by the new King George III. The Eleventh Parliament was finally dissolved on 25 April 1761, and new elections called.

By tradition, a parliament passes only one public "act" per session, albeit an act with multiple chapters. Legal statutes are cited by parliamentary session labelled by the regnal year in which that session sat. The regnal year of George II began on 11 June, and thus most parliamentary sessions do not overlap regnal years (and thereby do not need a double citation). As this parliament was the first new parliament assembled after the calendar reform went into effect in 1752, there is no citation conflict between legal dates and common dates.

The session dates in the table below follow Cobbett's Parliamentary History (Cobbett 1813). The legal titles of the sessions are as given in common compilations, such as the Statutes at Large (Pickering 1766). For the specific acts of parliament passed in each session, see the lists of Acts of Parliament for 1740–59 and 1760–79.

Session Label Start End Note
1st Session 31 May 1754 5 June 1754 no public act, no label
2nd Session 28 Geo. II 14 November 1754 25 April 1755
3rd Session 29 Geo. II 13 November 1755 27 May 1756
4th Session 30 Geo. II 2 December 1756 4 June 1757
5th Session 31 Geo. II 1 December 1757 20 June 1758
6th Session 32 Geo. II 23 November 1758 2 June 1759
7th Session 33 Geo. II 13 November 1759 22 May 1760 death of George II (25 October) during recess
8th Session 1 Geo. III 18 November 1760 19 March 1761 opened by George III
Parliament dissolved 20 March 1761

See also[edit]


  • Cobbett, William (1813), Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803, XV, London: Hansard
  • Pickering, Danby (1766), The Statutes at Large, J. Bentham
Preceded by
10th Parliament
11th Parliament of Great Britain
Succeeded by
12th Parliament